back to article Microsoft to unveil new Surface slabs at September 23 event

Microsoft will launch the second generation of its Surface fondleslabs at an invitation-only event to be held in New York City on September 23. The company teased the event with invites emailed to media on Monday that gave few details, other than making very plain that Surface will be in the limelight. Even the invitation's …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Reveal

    They'll reveal them on the 23rd, and on the 24th they'll be on the shelves at Best Buy at 60% off in another fire sale.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pathetic

    And I'm not gloating. I feel bad for them, trying to sell these things.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pathetic @AC 23:04

      Both lies, I think ...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Pathetic

      "I feel bad for them, trying to sell these things."

      These 'things' are way more powerful than an iPad and have a full and relatively secure OS - full USB support - and a proper Office version. They should do well If the public ever realise that....

      1. returnmyjedi

        The RT version of Office is far from what I would consider a full version. Why even the most remotely complex macros aren't supported is beyond me.

        1. h4rm0ny

          "The RT version of Office is far from what I would consider a full version. Why even the most remotely complex macros aren't supported is beyond me"

          It has the new Office Web Plugin system instead of VB macros. That's a good thing for security and impacts most users on their non-Work Provided machines not at all. That's the one difference in functionality with Office on RT. You can't believe that makes it "far from a full version".

      2. hokum

        Re: Pathetic

        The public don't care. Do you work in Microsoft's Surface division? You seem to have a similar lack of understanding about why Surface has failed and why the iPad continues to be so successful.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pathetic

        Office and USB support? Cool - now when I'm on the train I can balance a wad of external devices on my lap, and instead of lamely catching up with TV or a music app, I can create a spreadsheet!

        1. Thomas Duffin IV

          Re: Pathetic

          Is it an iPad? No, then I'm not buying it and nor will anyone else.

          I'll wait for the next iPad to replace my current one, as will everyone else.

          Seriously Micro$oft why are you bothering?

      4. Belardi

        Re: Pathetic

        "These 'things' are way more powerful than an iPad and have a full and relatively secure OS - full USB support - and a proper Office version. They should do well If the public ever realise that...."

        That's funny as hell. Many geeks don't GET IT. The typical human being CANNOT/WILL NOT learn how to use a computer such a Windows or CLI. When they get infections, data all over the place, network config issues, etc... they NEVER EVER LIKED MS-DOS or MS-WINDOWS! It was just a way to load up MS-WORD, a web browser and play DOOM.

        With Android & iOS tablets and phones... THEY DON'T NEED or WANT MS-OS!!

        A decent running full blown x86 Surface is still $900+ and they still typically need a $120~150 keyboard to be useful... wait, some companies make a computer that is just as powerful for $300~500, its called a NOTEBOOK. A $400 iPad does what most people need. Without the headache of a PC.

        So what typical human is going to pay $1000 for a TABLET that has all the crappy issues as any other $300 piece of shit Windows 8 notebook? The sales show this already. When MS sells 1 million tablets, 100+ Android and iOS tablets are sold.... worse, most of those MS-tablets were sold when they first hit the market.

        I predict the following: Surface Pro 2/RT2 sells for $1000 / $500. After 6 months, they would only have sold about 200,000 units combined. Only MS is selling RT-tablets and WP8x Phones. HP and Samsung may still be selling x86 Win8 tablets... in laughable numbers, but to the corp./health sector as they have been for years. Nothing more.

        Meanwhile... Most people will be excited by Win8.1 about half as much as 8.0.

        I, like many others.... have bought our LAST Microsoft Operating System, Windows 7.

        Need to use an office suite? Google Docs or Open Office - both are cheaper than Microsoft.

        Need to play games? PlayStation 4.

        When the corp. world figures OUT that Microsoft is garbage... it will be a good day.

        1. Fingers Stinky

          Re: Pathetic

          Shitehawk. Corporates aren't going to get rid of Office at any stage soon.

        2. mmeier

          Re: Pathetic

          You should phone Sony and Acer. For strange reasons they are still developing new Win/x86 tablet PC and have a rather large range presented at IFA. Brand new units like Tap11 and Flip13/14/15. Oh and inform Lenovo (who have announced the follow up to Helix and TPT2) and Fujitsu. They didn't know either

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Pathetic

        you're kind of right.. If it wasn't for the price tag (at least twice what "the public" are prepared to stomach), and the battery... then yes, they would do well.

        ok, I'm a bit overoptimistic - they might do well. MAYBE.

      6. Pat 4

        Re: Pathetic

        Secure??? Windows secure??? Are you KIDDING???

        And really... who the hell needs office anymore?

    3. Belardi

      Re: Pathetic

      Why feel sorry for Microsoft? They have raped the computer industry for decades... the worst OS of the 80s dominated the computer market that has effected us through the 2000s. MS-DOS was crap, but yeah - anyone and their uncle can and did open a PC Shop.

  4. Jim84

    Why don't they follow the Reg's plan?

    And have two operating systems - windows phone 8.1 for ARM devices and windows pro 8.1 for x86 devices?

    Also that kickstand sucks and means that the tablet is a horrible blocky shape. Why can't they have a bit of plastic (or metal) that can be pulled out of the back of the keyboard so that it doesn't fall over when the screen is attached? That way they could have a slimmer curved tablet. It's like they are channeling Nokia when they insisted on designing horrible blocky Lumias.

    Also I suspect the tablets will only be 1080p when their rivals have already moved beyond that.

    Once again Surface will be a day late and a dollar short compared to other offerings.

  5. Franklin

    There should be a few surprises in sotre, I imagine. Maybe the new Surface tablets will come with a free Zune MP3 player, along with new software to sync to your Kin phone!

  6. W.O.Frobozz

    Standard Operating Procedure

    This is what Microsoft does...they keep a lemon of a product alive, despite terrible sales and performance, until all the competition has died of natural causes. Windows CE is the biggest example of that.

    1. Captain DaFt

      New exclusive for 8.1!

      All new, touch enabled Microsoft Bob 1.6 with new Modern enhanced graphics!

      You Won't Believe Your Eyes!

  7. poopypants

    Simple test

    A 2012 32GB Nexus 7 costs $299. The previous Surface Pro (before mad discounting) starts at $799.00.

    If you are going to charge more than twice as much for something, it should be more than twice as useful.

    For some, this will be the case. For the vast majority, it won't. Therein lies Microsoft's problem.

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: Simple test

      Pro isn't even competing in the same market as a 7" Android tablet. Pro isn't trying to be a mass market iPad killer, it's trying to exploit a market in which there are no competitors at all (other than other windows tablets).

    2. returnmyjedi

      Regardless of what you think of Win 8, it's infinitely more useful than Android on a tablet. Unless you need all of the apps in the Google shop of course.

  8. Muckminded

    Most train wrecks

    aren't by invitation only, so kudos to them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Most train wrecks

      Actually I find it surprising it is invite only. Last I checked for Microsoft, locking people out of a product demonstration is just a horrible idea. Have sales turned around for these things in the last couple weeks, or do they still need as many people possible to pay attention?

      1. Captain DaFt

        Actually I find it surprising it is invite only.

        Not really. They looked at lists of previous attendees, Invited the actual diehard supporters first,

        then the ones that politely clapped, but otherwise were quiet,

        then the ones that only snickered or groaned quietly.

        Then to fill the second row of seats... ?

  9. mrfill

    Polish polish

    Gosh! A two-position stand.

    Mmmmmm a real crowd puller

    1. hplasm Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Polish polish

      It matches the two-position stand in the queue to buy them...

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    MS needs to drastically slash prices

    When I went tablet hunting last year, I briefly looked at a Surface, but went with a Kindle Fire HD instead for about 25% of the price of the MS slab.

    I still believe they could sell some of these devices, but they need to get their price down a helluva lot closer to $300-$400 before the masses will take them seriously. There's just way too many excellent options in that price range, making it very hard to consider spending double or more money to get an MS device.

    1. JasonLaw

      Re: MS needs to drastically slash prices

      At TechEd Australia last week, they announced to the gathered 4000+ developers a one-time, Surface special offer price of "only" $300. Our guys said two things happened; (1) A very embarrassed silence from the crowd, followed by (2) A mass twitter-storm as 4000 people posted "what the/why the fuck!?".

  11. Mikel

    Valued OEM partners still embargoed

    Weeks before the W8.1 embargo is up Microsoft is going to do a reveal of their new 8.1 hardware. Have I got that right? They're helping themselves out with a running start on the holiday season where what little profit that ever comes in consumer IT is made. And the new Surface Pro is more like a laptop than ever. A month later Microsoft reveals their first desktop PC for home and office: Xbox One. With Windows 8.1, 8 cores, 8 GB, console graphics at the lower than cost price of $499. Tablet, laptop, desktop and phone: Microsoft has got you covered. You don't even need to think about second party gear and why should you? They don't have the inside track to the developers that Microsoft does. When it comes to hardware and driver bugs of course Microsoft is going to fix their own stuff first, tell their hardware dudes what to steer away from. And of course being the big dog only Microsoft can afford to give you the pure non-MS crudware free experience. That is the power of vertical integration Microsoft keeps going on about being essential to compete in the modern world.

    HP, Lenovo, Dell, Asus, Acer, Sony and the rest: why are they not in open revolt? What does it take for them to buy a clue that if they keep doing what they have always done despite changing conditions they are not long for this world? What do you have to see to know that your software partner has made you redundant?

    1. mmeier

      Re: Valued OEM partners still embargoed

      Simple:

      They know from checking with the 8.1 preview that their hardware, even old one from 2010/11 runs with 8.1 just fine (Check the Windows tablet forums) so the S/P2 has no "head start". And their products are either already out or already announced at IFA.

      Their products are not in direct competition with the Surface/Pro 2. Units of similar size (10'') are Atom based, the core-i units are bigger in screen (11.6'' and more) and often different in form factor (convertibles or with a standard dock). And (unless MS brings a higher resolution) those that have been shown at IFA last week have often bigger screen resolutions. The only company that remotely plays in the S/P range is Samsung with the Ativ700t since the replacement (Ativ-Q) got delayed. But that is an ivy bridge not a Haswell so it has shorter legs.

      S/P(2) is a tablet pc with a limited (business) audience. Those that need a unit more compact and sturdy than Samsung plastic, with more power than an Atom but lower price than the "big boys" from Sony/Lenovo/Fujitsu. WIDI support makes it better for presentations than Atoms (that currently need cables), the pen and the available software beat iThingy and Fragmentdroid for usability during a team discussion. And the price tag without the (unneeded) keyboard is 500-800€ below the bigger units

      If you prefer a bigger screen you choose different (Duo13, Acer R7-2, T902 etc) same if you need a portable workstation that can be used as a tablet pc as well (T732/T902) or "small, light, 10+ h" (Latitude 10 oder TPT2)

  12. hungee

    I'm waiting for an atom, the next one or the one after... maybe

    There will be no good Windows tablets until Intel or AMD bring out a proper low power x86 SoC that can give good performance at the right price.

    the way it is looking though, is it will either be next year or two thousand and never.

    Then the surface can be competitive and we will start to see the Windows slabs that people want.

    1. mmeier

      Re: I'm waiting for an atom, the next one or the one after... maybe

      S/P2 will offer 6-8h on battery at < 1kg. Combined with fast sleep/wakeup that is good enough for a work day. And even the ULV core-i has more than enough power. So what is missing?

      More endurance can be had since other systems have bigger batteries. Duo13 gets 8-10 with a bigger screen at 1300g. Still easily handled for the average human.

  13. Confuciousmobil

    15?

    15 replies? I'm surprised there are that many people who can be bothered to read an article on the Surface.

    MS will be pleased.

    1. Slacker@work
      Coat

      Re: 15?

      Maybe they are the 15 who will turn up to the event? How big is the venue?? Visions of sad folk shuffling into a darkened room at a back street boozer...

  14. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Coat

    From the advert

    It is going to be a monochrome device.

    now that's real innovation

    Ok, I can take the hint. Mine the one with a pad of A5and a pencil (sharpened naturally) in the pocket.

  15. darklordsid

    MS: vigorously striving to match its business plan with "beating a dead horse" quote.

  16. JDX Gold badge

    Pro

    Did the original Surface Pro even make it to the UK yet?

    1. Callam McMillan

      Re: Pro

      I was just thinking the same thing. Yes, talking about the 2nd generation is great, but I haven't seen anything of the 1st gen Surface Pro being on sale in the UK. Which is a shame since it looks like a good device, if somewhat overpriced.

    2. John P

      It did

      and it is a brilliant device, we just bought one to replace an aging laptop and when it comes to Windows laptops/tablets, there was nothing in the same league for under £1000.

      1. Callam McMillan

        Re: It did

        That's a real shame then. I can't justify the kind of money they want for it to myself, but it's sad that they didn't make more of a fuss of it.

  17. Hellcat

    Just about to buy an RT for my Son. As far as I can see it is the perfect device for kids at school age. It supports user profiles (bye bye ipad) and a suite of parental controls. The attachable keyboards, USB device support and office suite mean it can be used for real productivity (bye bye droid slabs). The storage is easily extendible via SD card or USB storage so having videos for car journeys isn't a problem.

    To compare Windows 8 RT to iOS or Android is to be naieve to the functionality of RT, and the build quality is top notch - so we're not comparing with a £99 Argos no-brand special.

    1. mmeier

      You might want to take a look at the Atom-based Win8 units as an alternative. An Ativ500t (without the dock - Bluetooth is cheaper) or a TF810 offer even more capabilities and access to all Windows software except "heavy duty" stuff (Egoshooters, CAD). With Baytrail announced the prices are down even more so for Amazon Warehouse deals (450€ for an Ativ500 "very good condition")

      1. Hellcat

        Ativ 500 - £600

        TF - £600

        Surface RT - £320

        I can't think of any software he would use over what is provided, or can be installed from the app store, so in this case not worth the extra £280.

        Downvotes from those who are still in denial that there are other tables other than ipads?

        1. mmeier

          Depends on what you need. RT is "touch only" that means not useable for quick note taking, annotating PDF etc. If you need/want that the Ativ or TF810 is a better choice. As should be known I consider touch only devices of "limited useability" in a tablet pc

          If the RT software is enough for you in the next 2-3 years than RT might be a fine choice. Having been burned with Android and the lack of software I want/need makes me reluctant to believe that.

          Add in that I do not think touch cover is useful over a cheap BT keyboard and therefor the price difference between the basic Ativ500t (No 3G since RT hasn't either) and the S/RT is smaller (at least in germany)

    2. Belardi

      Be sure to let us know how well its working out... in reality.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, I'm so, like, excited

    Another laurel in the ongoing MS hardware success story, another breakthrough, another revolution, no less! Positively, can't sleep from all the excitement.

  19. Jay 2
    Facepalm

    Windows is Windows is Windows, except for those Windows

    I can see why people would like/use a Surface Pro - tablety, does Windows stuff and you can throw on existing x86 software. Costs a bit though. Still horses for corses.

    Surface RT on the other hand fails mainly because it's marketed as a Windows tablet, but won't run the aforementioned existing x86 software. We know that, but does Jo(e) Public. Meanwhile the same Jo(e) Public may also get a bit upset when the latest Angry Birds (or whatev) is not available on the MS apps store, whilst all their iOS/Android friends are playing. Oh and I don't think they'll be overly bothered about having a version of Office. Doesn't seem to do the iPad and various Android/Linux slabs any harm.

    I'm sure creating two devices that look very similar, have very similar sounding names, both run "Windows" and at two different price points is not helping either. As I've said before trying to push something called Windows 8 on 4 types of device with 2 (I think) different architectures is not going to end well. I know what Microsoft were trying to do and it has failed pretty badly.

    They'd have been better of dropping the Windows brand for the phone/RT tablet and creating something different. Apple have MacOS and iOS, Google have ChromeOS and Android. The Pro is probably the only sensible thing to hand the Windows brand on.

    1. John P

      Re: Windows is Windows is Windows, except for those Windows

      Couldn't agree more. The biggest fail from my perspective is that the desktop is there, you just can't run desktop apps. It is essentially only there to service Office and just gives a false impression to the user. If the desktop was completely gone from the RT so it was clear that you could only run Metro apps, then I don't think people would have as many problems with it as it's use case would be a lot clearer. As it is, it just seems a bit half-arsed.

  20. Belardi

    The RT-Joke

    Its important to remember the stupidity of Microsoft when it comes to RT8.

    It comes with a half-ass version of MS-Office for "free", but RT8 tablets are NOT SUPPOSED to be used for business purposes. Its in the EULA! For personal / home / education use only.

    So... a $300~500 Android or iPad which are already used in business end up being more cost effective and just as functional for a tablet-device than the $1000 SurfacePro which still has crappy battery life and much heavier weight.

    1. mmeier

      Re: The RT-Joke

      And another one who mixes the Surface and the Surface/Pro.

      Surface: ARM(es) Touchy Toy

      Surface/Pro: x86 unit, runs a full powered Win8, Version2 will have 6-8h battery life based and a useful tool called a stylus

      1. Belardi

        Re: The RT-Joke

        And WHAT makes it any better than the Windows 7 tablets from 2 years ago? A 2~4hr batter... okay... thats an improvement.

        Again, for MOST PEOPLE - a full-powered OS-Tablet is simply not needed. Its far to crumble-some and expensive for what YOU think is going to sell. Is there a place for such a device, yes. But not mainstream.

        A basic example how software can make or break something... and how WInx86 on a tablet... blows.

        GoogleMaps 6.0: Been around for a few years. Works. Its two separate APPS that are connected. MAPs and Navigation.

        Then a few months ago, GoogleMaps 7.0 comes out. The UI is cleaner. Its a single APP, it has very nice looking 3D buildings for everything, the colors look great. All good things. But the UI sucks balls, its very frustrating to use and useless to many people now. It doesn't save map info, it requires WAY to many finger presses to use, rather than SIMPLY start navigating with a single press. Rather than locate food or gas stations near to you, GMaps7 shows featured locations first... even if they are CLOSED.

        I was so happy to revert back to version 6... Even thou it has more clutter, it was far easier to use, less button presses.

        Windows 8 is a failure... it makes Vista look "good". The Surface tablets are a joke... over priced and out-dated. WP8 is so-so... with Nokia living off of MS's money. Gee, wonder why Nokia got 80%+ of the WP Market while Samsung and HTC got almost nothing. XBox1 is failure before launch.

        I'll be you, about 6 months after the SurfacePro2 ships... it'll be south of 1m units.

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